Bring back boomerang employees to your veterinary practice

Bring back boomerang employees to your veterinary practice

When frequent turnover happens at your practice, rehiring former team members saves time and money.
Feb 01, 2014

One method of combating the high costs of staff turnover is to bring back boomerang employees—those top-performing people who used to work for you, departed on good terms and who may possibly be interested in returning to your practice. In what is perhaps the most frequently discussed example, some women choose to "off-ramp," as it's called, for several years at some point in their career, and then they are eager to return. Many older people will also choose to return to work after previously retiring.

Other candidates who might choose to return to work include those who initially left due to personal issues that have since been resolved or those who left to pursue other job opportunities that didn't pan out as they had expected.

Among the many benefits of boomerang employees, here are a few big ones:

Huge savings. They eliminate the considerable time and costs involved with recruiting, hiring and training new team members.

Short learning curve. They know the practice, its computer systems and culture, and they're more likely to get up to speed faster than traditional new hires.

Greater loyalty. After former employees learn that the grass is not really greener elsewhere, they are not very likely to leave the same practice twice.

Strengthened retention efforts. Team members who are thinking about leaving may have second thoughts when learning the reasons former co-workers have returned.

It speaks well of you. It's a good sign to current team members and clients when former employees want to return to your practice.

Action steps

To encourage boomerangs, you need to plant the seed during the resignation. Take the advice of Dr. John Izzo, co-author of Values Shift: The New Work Ethic and What It Means for Business (FairWinds Press, 2001): "When a valued employee says he or she is leaving, there are two things an employer should do. First, ask if there is anything you could change that might cause the person to reconsider. Second, tell him or her in no uncertain terms, 'If you ever want to come back for any reason, I will try to find a job for you, so call me.' Pride can keep people from calling unless you make it clear that the call is welcomed."

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Bob Levoy is the author of seven best-selling books, including 101 Secrets of a High Performance Veterinary Practice and 222 Secrets of Hiring, Managing and Retaining Great Employees in Healthcare Practices.